James Frey Pisses Off Oprah

January 27th, 2006 // 37 Comments

Oh no he didn’t! And what was up with James Frey about joking about there being a gun backstage?

Oprah opens the show by saying she’s sorry; she also apologizes for calling Larry King to defend Frey. And then the kicker: Oprah says to Frey, “You betrayed millions of readers.” Remember how we said Oprah had totally saved Frey’s ass? Yeah, not anymore.

After commerical, Frey appears. Of the Smoking Gun report that broke this story, Frey says they “did a good job.” He admits to Oprah that he lied to her about jail. “I made a mistake,” he says.

James Frey on Oprah: Live-Blogging the Live Feed [Gawker]
Do Not Piss Off the Oprah [Gawker]

By Miu von Furstenberg

  1. Writers write. And lie. Embellish. Even in so-called non-fiction. They twist things to fit their personal tastes. Frey did this, but in the guise it was all truth. There is a certain limit to the amount of embellishing when “truth” is at stake. If this would have come out as a work of fiction from the get-go, there is nothing to bitch about. But he blew smoke up our ass, and we’re all a little pissed at being duped. Personally, the guys a douchebag.

  2. Tajue

    If you’re a guest on Oprah and don’t want her to interrupt you while you’re speaking ~ Keep the subject on Oprah’s ‘bravery’ and ‘honesty’. Continue to ladle Oprah with compliments, and she’ll sit back and let you ramble on forever.

  3. Martha

    I must say, the big O came across as a self-indulgent bitch. While I agree that Frey deserved to be called out, O made the show about her, not him. Her ego is beyond her talent or humanity.

  4. Anno

    I’m with ya Martha. And the only reason “The Oprah” called Frey out was the ton of complaints from her “minions”. She looked bad and she can’t have that. She’s intolerable.

  5. Girly Girl

    1.) Who seriously gives a rat’s ass whether or not Lilly hung herself or shot herself? Or whether Frey punched a cop when he was smoking crack? Or if he had novacaine at the dentist? The book is about ADDICTION and BATTLING ADDICTION, Oprah. NOT ABOUT JAMES FREY. And the book is damn good.

    2.) Oprah has reversed opinion NOT because anything else has emerged regarding the fiction/ non-fiction debate but because SHE started getting flack from holier-than-thou newspaper columnists. Oprah is worth BILLIONS and I really wish she would stop pandering to the likes of people like Maureen Dowd and the Washington Post. She can afford to wipe her ass with those people- why, oh why, does she constantly seek validation?

    3.) If the book got even one person to put down the crack pipe- who the hell are we to bash Frey? I mean, really. Do the mass of morons out in the world REALLY care about journalistic integrity? I’m gonna go with a big fat fucking no- or they would be tearing the shit out of a president who lied to start a war in which he’s making millions, I’m paying $1 more a gallon for gas, and 2700 Americans are dead.

    I’m chalking this whole debacle up to the ‘Do As I Say, Not As I Do’ school of post-modern culture. I’m so fucking sick and tired of all of these self righteous finger-pointers. For the love of God- we are a country at war. We are paying for that war by borrowing from China. How about we talk about that? Or maybe we can talk about how the #1 killer for pregnant women is THEIR partners. Or why athletes make obscene amounts of money and preschool teachers make minimum wage. Enough of the Frey bashing. Stop the goddamn bandwagon.

  6. DocEDC

    RE: “it’s about addiction” As a recovering junky- no embellishments here, I was a degenerate hope-to-die junky for many years, the *first* thing you learn in recovery is being honest. To be a wanna-be tourist addict, write a book (most likely based on real experiences of OTHER people he met in rehab if he was in fact, ever in rehab) and make a fuck-ton of money off that, the guy is a dirt-bag of the lowest order… Anyone that puts down the crack pipe/needle after reading this schlock ain’t gonna stay clean long.

    His book cheapens the real experiences of addicts that have been through far worse and come out the other side.

  7. Tajue

    “HANGED”! Lilly HANGED herself. Clothes and pictures can be ‘hung’. People are hanged. Oprah drove me crazy using the incorrect adjective throughout her show yesterday.

  8. Tajue

    P.S. “Hanged” post is for you, Girly Girl.

  9. fo sho

    Whatever, I would be friggin pissed too if I put my reputation on the line for something peddled as truth and turned out to be a hill of lies and I ain’t nearly as rich or influential as Oprah.

    Like when a friend puts you down as a reference for a job where you work and they get hired because the bosses know YOUR reputation as a good employee. But then that friend shows up late or calls in sick a lot or just slacks off all day. Sure, you’re friend needed a job but it’s ALSO YOUR reputation. Call it self-indulgent or whatever you want but most people care about their reputations regardless of how much money they make.

  10. DocEDC

    Hang is a verb- not an adjective. Correcting someone’s grammar only to screw it up yourself- quite tacky.

  11. Tajue

    DocEDC~ That’s what I get for typing a comment when I’m in a huff. Tacky AND stupid.

  12. Courtney

    I can’t stand Oprah!!!

  13. Agua

    I feel for the guy. 90% of men I know enhance shit to look better. It’s all about machismo. Oprah really bugged me yesterday. An hour of her yelling at him, and clips of various journalists/publicity whores (**cough cough Joel Stein cough cough**) saying that he is an immoral tool was just stupid.

  14. Rob

    Is this the new Oprah a big bully. First it was Hermes now this guy Oprah just chill.

  15. Macko

    “Self-indulgent bitch”, “intolerable”? She puts this guys book on her book club list under the belief that it is true, inspirational, redemptive…in other words she stakes her considerable reputation behind his putative memoir and defends it even when it seem it might have been dubious at best. And she apologizes to her 20 millions of viewers or “minions” who trust her opinion and her veracity and you think she made it “all about her”.
    YOUR DAMN SKIPPY ITS ALL ABOUT HER. Its call the Oprah Winfrey Show…not James Frey show or Joe Schmuck show. The next time someone betrays you by lying or besmirching your name and/or reputation, lets see you not make it about your feeling embarassed, duped, pissed over, screwed or bamboozled.
    Indeed, it is all about her. And if any other entity, talk show host or person of repute had been so sullied then it should be about them trying to get their good name back.
    When you have your own show you can equally make it about you too when you have been f**Ked over.

  16. John Travolta

    uh…oprah is a billionaire. she does not care about what you all think of her. she made it. she came from not having a pot to piss in to a billionaire. and it is making all of you haters squirm, huh?

  17. Girly Girl

    ‘Putative’? ‘Sullied’? ‘Besmirched’? Macko- you’re going to have to dumb it down in here. This is a gossip website, not Sunday School… apparently I, owner of a MA in English, failed to properly conjugate the verb ‘To Hang’ to Tajue’s liking… and then Tajue proved to be a grammatical retard with the mislabeling of verbs for adjectives.

    Gawd… this isn’t Mensa you know.

    And DocEDC, thank you for at least trying to slap down the grammar police…

  18. Shannon

    “Your damn skippy” LOL

  19. I echo Macko and John Travolta’s comments!

  20. Macko

    Girly Girl…..LOL!!!! Got it!!

  21. Scout

    Hey, Girly Girl, It DOES fucking matter that James Frey’s book is a bunch of lies. All of those addicts helped by James Frey’s ‘honesty’ and ‘struggle’? Their mentor is now an official, lying piece of shit. I wouldn’t be surprised if James himself is back on the pipe right now. But, according to your logic, there are too many problems in the world to care about any of them.

  22. Fugly Girl

    Who gives a crap? How many times have I wasted my money on some piece if crap movie because some idiot like Oprah said it was great? I’ve also read quite a few books on Oprahs list that suck as well. You don’t hear her confronting those people. Last time I checked some of the most entertaining books were FICTION, are all those authors liars too because it’s all made up?!?!? So move the damn book to the fiction section at Barnes and Noble and everybody quit yet bitchin.

  23. Otto

    Hellllooooo….. It’s a book!!!!!! I doubt there’s ever been a “memoir” that hasn’t been embellished, give me a break. No matter what it was GREAT book! I never even considered everything was factual. I don’t think anyone would survive a root canal without something. Tell me, would you want to have on with just novacaine? Hell no. Oprah can blow it out her you know what, she’s a self-rightious B—–!

  24. anona

    I must say I have to agree with Girly Girl. The main point of this “brouhaha” is the fact that Oprah’s “I’m richer than God himself” image was put on the line.

    I wish Oprah would buy herself some courage instead of playing “God” and deciding who she is going to make rich and famous.

  25. mik

    I thought Oprah was brilliant. She had every right to ask Frey a few tough questions since he claimed his book was so honest on her show.

  26. jj

    Bill Clinton lied in his memoir about where he was born as well as a few other things, and no one cared (and they shouldn’t because memoirs are allowed to be adapted) so why should anyone care about how long some nobody spent in jail or what his dentist visit was REALLY like? Sheesh, it’s not like he’s claiming to be Jesus. He was just trying to sound like a bad ass.

  27. ilostmyshoe

    Oprah’s to do list:

    1. Accuse Hermes of being racist because it’s workers closed the store on time so they could go home instead of just admitting you’re a diva.

    2. Get Jennifer Aniston through her divorce (check)

    3. Help Julia Roberts & Danny Moder with their marriage (check)

    4. Attempt to embarrass a ‘writer’ whose true story is anything but only because she slapped her name on it to make a buck and it turned around biting her in the butt instead (check)

    Well, look like everythings done. Someone should call Oprah up to hammer out the Transit woes we have brewing here in NYC or perhaps the peace process in Israel. The woman’s a miracleworker !

  28. Meg

    Oprah is a miracle worker. look how many people have gotten off drugs, left a husband who beats them, located a child molester, dealt with an eating disorder, stopped themselves from committing suicide just from watching her show. Check!

  29. Fugly Girl

    Dear World,
    I just watched Oprah today and I am now going to kill myself. Guess she can’t check that one off her list anymore Meg.

    Oprah Hater

  30. you don’t know what it is like to have a place of business or store not help you cause you’re black. i have had grocers follow me around the store because they thoght i stole something. i have had salespeople ask white people if they can help them first while i was waiting on line for a long time before the white people. i know what this is like. i am black. so i believe oprah and the hermes thing. don’t judge until you have been in this situation.

  31. Loob

    Has anyone noted yet how much Oprah looks like Michael Jackson in that photo? YIKES!!

  32. FunMe

    Oprah is just like an selfish rich person. Remember when she did a “special” in South Africa? Well I wrote her. My letter spoke volumes about her:

    “Dear Oprah,
    I just watched your show on South Africa. The scenery was lovely and the smiles on those kid’s faces were priceless! Thanks!
    Now I appeal to your morality. Do you realize how flashy your earrings were? They must have cost at least $12,000!!! Most of those unfortunate children will never even see that type of money, and maybe for the better. Money is the root of most evil. Can you see how Marie Antionette acted back in the day? Let the children wear diamonds you should say.
    Are you aware that a lot of the problems that happened in South Africa were caused by the quest to steal the people’s land and mine for the evil white rocks that led to apartheid? You are fool number one, and obviously are way out of touch with what is history.
    I am COMPLETELY offended by your callous disregard for truth by doing something as stupid as be so “bling bling” whilst pretending to be concerned with the plight of South Africans.
    Martha Stewart wore a pair very similar in her interview with Barbara Walters. I am sick of her and now I am sick of you. You have some nerve! I wish one of those kids knew the worth of your rocks and pulled them out of your ears.
    Just a thought: When visiting with the poverty stricken of the world, do not feel the need to impress them with your “bling bling”.
    You are not keeping it real. I hope many people wrote in about this tacky show of greed and waste.
    Decidedly not a fan,

  33. oprahisnotgod

    I don’t understand why people seem to worship this heffer [oprah] like some kind of god! peeps come on her show, and act as if they are afraid to disagree with her.
    i agree with the poster who said that she pretty much made the show about herself, and how she was taken, oh, well too friggen bad…
    i can’t stand oprah…she comes off as so damn stuck up

  34. Audacte

    Oprah said “I” 119 times during the Frey show. This was up from her normal 114 times. Uhmmm.. enough said. ;-)

    p.s., “My friend Gayle” references are down.

  35. melting around

    she is right on this issue but in general i find her so annoying….
    she is so irritating and she enver lets her guests speak and she asks them the dumbest questions. Sometimes she brings up intresting issues but her shows are always so boring. I have no clue how she’s been around for so long. Anyone agree with me?

  36. Lily

    Oprah needs to get off her high horse and use her REAL money to fund and bail out the troubles in Africa and all the other charities she so claimed to support. Instead of wasting time on a liar and trying to cover her own dumb ass and stupid book club, she needs to put the money where her mouth is. She wants to save the world, well get off her studio couch and get out there. I’m sick of her phony ass.

  37. agtdonut

    You dont’t know what it’s like to work at a store and be closing up at night only to have some asshole try to come in even though your hours are clearly posted. Then when you tell them, “Sorry, but the we’re closed” (or closing as Oprah says-because nothing’s ever really closed for the Oprah) they pitch a fit because their dumbass didn’t think of getting to the store sooner. You don’t know what it’s like working on your feet all day, stocking shelves, helping needy dipshits find things right in front of their faces while of course having to maintain a pleasant and courteous demeanor for crappy to mediocre pay. You don’t know what it’s like when FINALLY!!! closing time has come and you can kick the tards out of the store (politely of course), clean up the place and go home to your family, kid, hobby, pet, etc. and in your face is some fat cocky bitch who thinks her lack of preparation and consideration is somehow acceptable and should become everybody elses problem. If you did understand what its like to bust your ass all day only to have this ugly douchebag in your face making trouble you wouldn’t make this about race. This isn’t about Oprah being black, this is about Oprah being an asshat and forgetting what it’s like to work for a living.

    Also, when are people not judged for their outside appearances? I certainly don’t believe it’s right but it happens to every kind of person in this world. All colors, shapes, sizes and abilities are prejudged at times, you are no more special and the sooner you realize this you can get over it. Judging people sucks but everybody does it at times and our preconceptions often turn out to be misconceptions. There is no sense crying over this inevitability of human nature.

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